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Old 03-02-2010, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,682 posts, read 33,681,492 times
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This month I will be retired 3 years. I would like to update the things I learned after 1 year.

1. I still don't miss work. I worked for the same government agency for 34 years (different jobs). I still use some of my work skills in retirement. In fact, this year Iím teaching a retiree class that's computer research related. Anyone else using work skills in retirement in, for example, hobby, club, volunteer, home improvement activities? C'mon, how many of you former managers are officers in some club or organization? How many former carpenters have related home projects or do carpentry type work for events/clubs/their church? How many retired teachers are still doing some type of instruction in their hobby or clubs or volunteer work? How many former sales people/former police officers/deal with the public retirees are still involved in "people person" retiree activities? I bet you never even gave it any thought. You just sort of fell into it.


2. Your ďfriendsĒ from work are just that...but we donít even bother with Christmas cards, anymore. Out of sight, out of mind. I do miss my long-time friends, though, especially after making a trip to see some of them last year. We still keep in touch even though they are in 3 different states. But, they arenít all retired and our interests are no longer the same. Also, three of them have spouses. Let me ask you single/divorced/widowed retirees a question. Is it harder to socialize with your married retiree friends when there is a spouse underfoot? I think it was easier when we were all working. We did things when the spouse was tied up with other things but now the spouse is ALWAYS there. It feels more intrusive. Am I wrong? I think it would bother me if I had to deal with it, regularly.


3. I'm more observant and things in my surroundings interest me more now that I'm retired. This is still true from Year One. I can sit for hours and study bird behavior. Fell into the hobby of outdoor photography since retired and Iíve actually gotten better at it and even won a few awards last year. I can actually see the improvement. My camera gives me the opportunity to look at things and people differently and give me a reason to get out, be patient and observe. I think itís probably because I have the time to be aware of my environment as a retiree that I didn't have when I was working. How about you?


4. Okay, here's a change. Retirees I come in contact with regularly span the ages of 55 - 85 (I'm currently 58) and after the first week or two, I stopped noticing the age difference but now I do notice something. Donít get me wrong they are still wonderful intelligent people who have lived and still live amazing lives. I like talking to them. I like hearing about their lives. Many are still world travelers and active. I do notice technological differences and communication differences, though. Iíd say the whole computer age passed most of the older retirees, by. It makes it tougher to communicate and share information across the generational divide. Still, I hope I am as mentally and physically capable as they are if I get to be the age of some of those 80+ year olds. You know, if you like to bike or hike, bowl or garden, for example, you are going to meet others, regardless of their age, who can physically do those things, too. If you like to take classes, there aren't going to be people in those classes who have lost their mental capabilities. In other words, your activities and not your age, will determine your common interest friends in retirement. Anyone here, who retired fairly young, have any generational retirement problems? How about the opposite? Any older retirees have problems with younger retirees?


5. Retirement didn't change my good/bad personal habits like I thought it might. Still true after 3 years. My TV watching hours and reading habits didn't change when I stopped working. I still buy and read as many books as I used to, maybe more. I still don't turn on the TV until dinner time. I still prefer to shop online. I still like reading and posting to assorted forums. I still hate housework. I still procrastinate. I still hate walking for the sake of walking (as opposed to walking TO something). I still can't remember people's names. I still go to bed when I'm tired, not at any particular hour at night. I still eat stuff thatís not good for me. I still underdress in cold weather (no hat, no gloves, lightweight jacket). I still like taking classes/learning new things. So are there any retirees here who shed their bad habits after they retired or picked up new good habits after they retired or did we all just carry our good/bad habits into retirement?


6. The interest in my new town has waned since Year One of my retirement. I have favorite activities but the newness excitement has worn off. If I miss an annual event, it doesnít bother me because Iíve done it already. Iím more choosy now. I donít have to do everything. Plus, classes, school breaks, club meetings, weather conditions, appointments have established replacement routines. People who have moved in retirement, do you feel the same way? After you are in the new place for about two years, are you more picky about how you spend your time and have youíve developed new routines?


7. Still never in a hurry/feel I have to rush since being retired. BUT, hereís one you can laugh at and look forward to if you are not yet retired. I have no idea when itís a holiday, anymore. There were so many people out and about the day after we had some snow. I was thinking their offices and schools closed because of the weather. It was a holiday and I didnít even know it. Sure you are aware of the big ones when you get company or visit people but those other ones? Every day is a holiday when you are retired. There are no such things as weekends to live for. Monday is just as great as Saturday.


8. Bad weather - big deal! Seriously, if you are retired, you can wait for the sun to melt the snow off your windshield. Icy roads? Don't go out. Reschedule your appointments for just about any other day. Too humid? Do your outdoor stuff before 10:00A or in the evening or tomorrow. No schedule - fewer weather concerns. C'mon, how many retirees, that you know, are out there at 7:00A on a winter weekday scraping off their windshield or heating up the car? I'm betting - ZERO. Maybe they saunter out after the sun has been up for a few hours and push the ice off the windshield...


9. Tired? Don't feel well? Lay down. Remember when you were at work and you had a miserable headache or were nauseous or couldn't keep your eyes open and it was such a big deal to go home. It was a big deal to leave work and it was a big deal to actually get home when you were sick. Hey, you can go to bed at 1:00P or 10:00A and sleep as long as you like when you are ill or just plain tired and retired. The clock is no longer your enemy.


10. Work costs a lot. Retirement doesn't have to. I have more money as a retiree with half the income. First, I'm not forced to live in a high tax, overly regulated (pass down business costs), high cost of living area. But, I also don't fill up my gas tank as frequently. I don't hit some vending machine for drinks/snacks. I don't go to the dry cleaners every week because I live in machine washable play clothes now. I don't pay as much for play clothes as I did for work clothes. I don't eat out for lunch five days a week or buy cafeteria lunches. I don't chip in for gifts/parties.

You'd be surprised at the number of free events/free things to do. I have found out that there are many people everywhere who want to show you their skills/talent, make a presentation or teach you something. I didn't even know things like this existed when I was working. You can easily do 1 - 2 things per week, all year long, free. It may be a fair or festival. It may be a free concert. It may be a free learning event (example: park rangers teach some type of nature related thing or take you on some hike). It may be some history re-enactment. It may be a free subject related show (art/crafts). It may be a place that just doesn't charge for admission/parking. It may be a local sporting event (a high school football game, a race, a rowing event, etc.).

This doesn't even include cheap hobbies/activities.

11. What's an alarm clock? I don't even have one in the bedroom. If there is some once-in-awhile activity where I have to get up early in the morning, I set my cell phone to wake up. On the other hand, the calendar is a big deal. Since most events aren't part of a regular schedule or routine, I rely on my calendar more in retirement.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Exeter, NH
5,300 posts, read 4,401,072 times
Reputation: 5685
Default Thanks for telling the Truth

Thanks for going against the Propaganda Machine! I'm so tired of my generation (Gen X) being told by the Media that we "don't want to retire" and "don't know what we'd do with ourselves." The government, to which we've paid high Social Security taxes since beginning work at age 16, has already changed our retirement age to 67 (and Heaven knows what it will be when we actually approach it). I don't know of anyone who would have made it to 67 before retiring--looming major health problems caused all our older relatives to realize that you'd better retire while you can still enjoy a few good years. JUST BECAUSE YOU LIVE TO 70, DOESN'T MEAN THOSE LAST 3 YEARS WERE HEALTHY! Most current workers retire at 62 or earlier, and I've never even heard of anyone regretting it. Most wish they'd done it sooner. And if you notice, every proposal for dealing with the bankruptcy of Social Security and Medicare entails taking even more away from my generation, while preserving benefits in their entirety for the Baby Boomers--most of which retired with pensions and much more wealth than my generation would ever be able to aquire.
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:20 PM
 
Location: SoCal desert
8,093 posts, read 13,229,344 times
Reputation: 14870
Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
11. What's an alarm clock? I don't even have one in the bedroom .
It's a tradition in my family that on the first day of retirement, the person take the alarm clock outside and stomp it to bits. We make a party out of it!

My father did it. My mother did it.
My brother and his wife did.
My sister and her husband(s) did it.

This is one time I really hate being the baby of the family.

My turn can't get here quick enough. http://bestsmileys.com/clocks/2.gif (broken link)
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Old 03-03-2010, 07:13 AM
 
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 12,050,067 times
Reputation: 2141
Great post. Thanks for rundown on how 3 years is compared to your 1st year. I'm 2 months retired now but still in my same house. I ripped out some carpet in prep to redo the room. I don't use the alarm much either but mine is an expensive clock radio so I won't destroy it. So far I'm loving being retired and don't miss work at all. Just a couple of friends.
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Old 03-03-2010, 03:41 PM
 
6,990 posts, read 6,985,767 times
Reputation: 5803
Default Local Friends?

Have you been able to make some new, good local friends? That's my greatest concern about moving...

Quote:
Originally Posted by LauraC View Post
This month I will be retired 3 years. I would like to update the things I learned after 1 year.

1. I still don't miss work. I worked for the same government agency for 34 years (different jobs). I still use some of my work skills in retirement. In fact, this year Iím teaching a retiree class that's computer research related. Anyone else using work skills in retirement in, for example, hobby, club, volunteer, home improvement activities? C'mon, how many of you former managers are officers in some club or organization? How many former carpenters have related home projects or do carpentry type work for events/clubs/their church? How many retired teachers are still doing some type of instruction in their hobby or clubs or volunteer work? How many former sales people/former police officers/deal with the public retirees are still involved in "people person" retiree activities? I bet you never even gave it any thought. You just sort of fell into it.


2. Your ďfriendsĒ from work are just that...but we donít even bother with Christmas cards, anymore. Out of sight, out of mind. I do miss my long-time friends, though, especially after making a trip to see some of them last year. We still keep in touch even though they are in 3 different states. But, they arenít all retired and our interests are no longer the same. Also, three of them have spouses. Let me ask you single/divorced/widowed retirees a question. Is it harder to socialize with your married retiree friends when there is a spouse underfoot? I think it was easier when we were all working. We did things when the spouse was tied up with other things but now the spouse is ALWAYS there. It feels more intrusive. Am I wrong? I think it would bother me if I had to deal with it, regularly.


3. I'm more observant and things in my surroundings interest me more now that I'm retired. This is still true from Year One. I can sit for hours and study bird behavior. Fell into the hobby of outdoor photography since retired and Iíve actually gotten better at it and even won a few awards last year. I can actually see the improvement. My camera gives me the opportunity to look at things and people differently and give me a reason to get out, be patient and observe. I think itís probably because I have the time to be aware of my environment as a retiree that I didn't have when I was working. How about you?


4. Okay, here's a change. Retirees I come in contact with regularly span the ages of 55 - 85 (I'm currently 58) and after the first week or two, I stopped noticing the age difference but now I do notice something. Donít get me wrong they are still wonderful intelligent people who have lived and still live amazing lives. I like talking to them. I like hearing about their lives. Many are still world travelers and active. I do notice technological differences and communication differences, though. Iíd say the whole computer age passed most of the older retirees, by. It makes it tougher to communicate and share information across the generational divide. Still, I hope I am as mentally and physically capable as they are if I get to be the age of some of those 80+ year olds. You know, if you like to bike or hike, bowl or garden, for example, you are going to meet others, regardless of their age, who can physically do those things, too. If you like to take classes, there aren't going to be people in those classes who have lost their mental capabilities. In other words, your activities and not your age, will determine your common interest friends in retirement. Anyone here, who retired fairly young, have any generational retirement problems? How about the opposite? Any older retirees have problems with younger retirees?


5. Retirement didn't change my good/bad personal habits like I thought it might. Still true after 3 years. My TV watching hours and reading habits didn't change when I stopped working. I still buy and read as many books as I used to, maybe more. I still don't turn on the TV until dinner time. I still prefer to shop online. I still like reading and posting to assorted forums. I still hate housework. I still procrastinate. I still hate walking for the sake of walking (as opposed to walking TO something). I still can't remember people's names. I still go to bed when I'm tired, not at any particular hour at night. I still eat stuff thatís not good for me. I still underdress in cold weather (no hat, no gloves, lightweight jacket). I still like taking classes/learning new things. So are there any retirees here who shed their bad habits after they retired or picked up new good habits after they retired or did we all just carry our good/bad habits into retirement?


6. The interest in my new town has waned since Year One of my retirement. I have favorite activities but the newness excitement has worn off. If I miss an annual event, it doesnít bother me because Iíve done it already. Iím more choosy now. I donít have to do everything. Plus, classes, school breaks, club meetings, weather conditions, appointments have established replacement routines. People who have moved in retirement, do you feel the same way? After you are in the new place for about two years, are you more picky about how you spend your time and have youíve developed new routines?


7. Still never in a hurry/feel I have to rush since being retired. BUT, hereís one you can laugh at and look forward to if you are not yet retired. I have no idea when itís a holiday, anymore. There were so many people out and about the day after we had some snow. I was thinking their offices and schools closed because of the weather. It was a holiday and I didnít even know it. Sure you are aware of the big ones when you get company or visit people but those other ones? Every day is a holiday when you are retired. There are no such things as weekends to live for. Monday is just as great as Saturday.


8. Bad weather - big deal! Seriously, if you are retired, you can wait for the sun to melt the snow off your windshield. Icy roads? Don't go out. Reschedule your appointments for just about any other day. Too humid? Do your outdoor stuff before 10:00A or in the evening or tomorrow. No schedule - fewer weather concerns. C'mon, how many retirees, that you know, are out there at 7:00A on a winter weekday scraping off their windshield or heating up the car? I'm betting - ZERO. Maybe they saunter out after the sun has been up for a few hours and push the ice off the windshield...


9. Tired? Don't feel well? Lay down. Remember when you were at work and you had a miserable headache or were nauseous or couldn't keep your eyes open and it was such a big deal to go home. It was a big deal to leave work and it was a big deal to actually get home when you were sick. Hey, you can go to bed at 1:00P or 10:00A and sleep as long as you like when you are ill or just plain tired and retired. The clock is no longer your enemy.


10. Work costs a lot. Retirement doesn't have to. I have more money as a retiree with half the income. First, I'm not forced to live in a high tax, overly regulated (pass down business costs), high cost of living area. But, I also don't fill up my gas tank as frequently. I don't hit some vending machine for drinks/snacks. I don't go to the dry cleaners every week because I live in machine washable play clothes now. I don't pay as much for play clothes as I did for work clothes. I don't eat out for lunch five days a week or buy cafeteria lunches. I don't chip in for gifts/parties.

You'd be surprised at the number of free events/free things to do. I have found out that there are many people everywhere who want to show you their skills/talent, make a presentation or teach you something. I didn't even know things like this existed when I was working. You can easily do 1 - 2 things per week, all year long, free. It may be a fair or festival. It may be a free concert. It may be a free learning event (example: park rangers teach some type of nature related thing or take you on some hike). It may be some history re-enactment. It may be a free subject related show (art/crafts). It may be a place that just doesn't charge for admission/parking. It may be a local sporting event (a high school football game, a race, a rowing event, etc.).

This doesn't even include cheap hobbies/activities.

11. What's an alarm clock? I don't even have one in the bedroom. If there is some once-in-awhile activity where I have to get up early in the morning, I set my cell phone to wake up. On the other hand, the calendar is a big deal. Since most events aren't part of a regular schedule or routine, I rely on my calendar more in retirement.
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Old 03-04-2010, 08:29 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,682 posts, read 33,681,492 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staywarm2 View Post
Have you been able to make some new, good local friends? That's my greatest concern about moving...
No, but I think it's more of an issue of not meeting people my age because I retired fairly young and because I've always been somewhat of a loner. I think if I retired at an age when most people retire, I'd be around more people just like me. The retirees I come in contact with physically now aren't under 65. I figure, when I eventually hit the age when most people retire, I'll meet more people my age with similar interests and who are single, mobile and home during the daytime.

My interests are solitary ones but that doesn't mean I don't come into contact with people a lot because of them. Photography is my main hobby now and I pretty much do that by myself but I belong to a camera club that meets once a month at night and we have guest speakers, competitions and an annual event. I really enjoy it. Again, fellow hobbyists my age are usually still in the workforce and aren't around in the daytime, during the week, to pal around with. They are in the club but when I'm running around taking photos, they're at work. The ones that are retired are older than I am by 10 years or more.

Another thing I like to do is read nonfiction. Well, that's a solitary hobby, too, but I'm also in a nonfiction book discussion group that meets once a month (you need time to read the monthly book) and goes out to lunch afterwards. I enjoy it.

Occasionally, I take the weekly casino bus to another state. It's a long ride and I like the people on the bus. They are a chatty friendly group and it's a long trip but I only do this maybe 4 or 5 times per year because of schedule conflicts (the bus only comes on a Wednesday).

I take classes in a retiree program that holds classes at the college around the corner from where I live. Good classes, too, in the areas of economics, history, medicine, etc., not Underwater Basketweaving, The Zen of Being Me or Those Swinging Sixties type foo-foo classes. I live in an area of scientists/engineers and we have some science and technology classes that would knock your socks off for a retiree program. They come from the national lab and nuclear facility to teach them. There are day trips and some overnight trips also associated with the program and I've learned a lot about my area from those trips. For one annual $90 fee, we can take up to 5 classes per semester. I usually do take 5 classes (they run from 1 - 8 sessions, typically) each semester and sign up for at least one trip per semester. But, this semester I am teaching a 7 week computer class that meets once a week, so I signed up for less classes than I usually do because I couldn't judge how much prep time, I'd need. There are 3 semesters with breaks in January, May and September. May is when I travel to see my longtime friends in other states and combine it with my photography interest. However, those longtime friends aren't retired, yet, either, and two of them are married. So if I moved back to Long Island or stayed in MD, they still would not be around in the daytime to pal around with and if the husbands were also retired, they'd be hanging around and it would be awkward/annoying. I'm better off where I am and my solitary activities allow me to join related things and be around other people.

My advice is to turn those solitary hobbies and activities into joining related clubs when you retire. You know, if you like to fish, don't just go fishing, join a fishing club. If you like to garden, don't just garden, join a gardening club. If you like to read, don't just read, join a book discussion group. If you like to go to church, join the choir or some religious group that meets. If you like to bike, join some biking group. If you are a history buff, join a group of re-enactors. If you like sports, don't just go to games, join some booster club. If you play an instrument, join a community band. If you like learning new things, take classes. You can still do the activities solo, if you like. But, at least you'll have people contact with the related club connection. You probably didn't have time for clubs/organizations when you were in the workforce and you didn't need the social interaction of a club after being around people for 35 - 40 hours a week. I think, though, you will appreciate it in retirement.

Last edited by LauraC; 03-04-2010 at 08:44 AM..
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Sacramento
13,784 posts, read 23,805,237 times
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I think it is great that you provide so many insights for those soon anticipating retirement. Folks should really consider what you say, the issues you highlight will frequently have more impact upon folks contentment in retirement, instead of those issues regarding things like taxes and weather.

Like you I'm in my late 50's and I've been retired for a little over 3 years now, after 34+ years with a government agency. I moved around a bit with my job, so I had experience with the issues associated with relocation.

Regarding some of the issues you've brought up, here is my experiences and/or perspectives:

Anyone else using work skills in retirement in, for example, hobby, club, volunteer, home improvement activities? Yes, I've used my skills for volunteer work. I've found volunteering to be a bit of a challenge, and my first few volunteer efforts were somewhat disappointing. I just kept trying something new, after the other efforts didn't pan out (I'd give each at least a year to see how they evolve), and eventually found a niche that I enjoy and feel productive. I found you need to keep an open mind, but still do some critical evaluation, when participating in volunteer work. A major benefit though, is that unlike work if things aren't working out as you hoped, it is easy to disengage and move on. However, I eventually found something I really enjoy doing, and now things are going very well.

Anyone here, who retired fairly young, have any generational retirement problems? I've found that some of my fellow retirees, especially those 75 and older, tend to be less computer involved. This hasn't been any problem for me at all, I just relate to them at their own comfort and experience level. I just view technology as a tool, and many times just let them dominate a discussion and spend much of my time just "actively" listening to them. Like any other interpersonal involvement, some folks you take to better than others, and I just let this naturally sort itself out.

So are there any retirees here who shed their bad habits after they retired or picked up new good habits after they retired or did we all just carry our good/bad habits into retirement? I've always been really good about staying on a regular exercise program, and after 3+ years of retirement I haven't gained a pound, and my blood pressure is down almost 20 points. We have a clubhouse in our development, and I walk over there (almost a mile) three times a week for a good 40 minute weightlifting session. My wife, who hasn't been very consistent in exercising, has been going over with me, and she has lost about 15 pounds since linking up with me for exercise sessions.

New town interest and weather. We had a lot of interest in California, moving out here after living in the East and Midwest our whole lives. I have found that though California has incredible scenery and a million things to see and do, I'm just not a California guy. The filth and danger of the place (crime) is a bit more than I care to deal with on a daily basis. Regarding the weather, I like Ohio's weather a bit more than California, I liked the seasons and never minded the colder winters. I really am not wild about having 6-7 months without rain here in California, and the dirty ground resulting from the lack of a good hard rain isn't great to me. Frankly, I miss the Midwest and would have personally preferred living in the Ohio area the rest of my life. But at the end of the day, weather is pretty much a non-issue to me.
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Old 03-04-2010, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
3,415 posts, read 5,133,448 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staywarm2 View Post
Have you been able to make some new, good local friends? That's my greatest concern about moving...
I've been retired for 5 years. Wow the time has flown compared to the last 5 years of working, waiting to be old enough to get out of a job that I'd been doing for 28 years and grown to hate after about 20 years.

I moved from big city, Oakland, CA to a rural area with just 15,000 people in the county, one traffic light, 50,000 cows, etc. I have more friends here that I had in CA. I had been a little concerned that being originally from NY and then CA than I might not be very welcome in this community that has many families that have been here for 4 -7 generations but there are enough newcomers that it's OK and I have lots of respect for these hard working farmers and don't look down on them as being redneck hillbillies.

Less than two weeks after arriving I joined the Humane Society and got very involved. There are a few other retired folks and we do a lot of the work because we do have more time than those who are still in earning mode. I think that getting involved in your new community in some volunteer aspect is very helpful. It says I want to be a part of the place, to contribute to making it a good place to live and give something of myself to it. When speaking of your former place you hold yourself apart if you say back home we...... You're telling people that this new place is not really your home and if that's the way you talk and think about it never will be.

On some of the other issues - I nap when I'm tired, even if I've only been up for 5 or 6 hours. I also sometimes stay up all night - did that just a couple of nights ago and go to bed at 8 AM for a few hours of sleep.

Can't say I've shed a single one of my bad habits even though I had hopes of doing some self improvements. TV watching is much less since I don't have cable or dish, just Netflix but don't feel the need to veg out with mindless drivel to offset high stress levels the way I did when working. I rent a lot of documentaries and read much more non fiction now.

I hope to spend twice as many years collecting my pension as I spent earning it. That will take me to 110. The worst thing I can say about retirement is that you no longer get to look forward to three day weekends where a holiday gives you Monday off.
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:06 AM
 
4,572 posts, read 7,057,201 times
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I found it very interesting your comment that the "glow" of living in a new place went away after a year or two. Alot of us on this forum are looking to relocate upon retirement and I agree that after awhile, one just gets into their own routine no matter where they live and the newness wears off.
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Old 03-05-2010, 10:38 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,555 posts, read 39,934,465 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loveautumn View Post
I found it very interesting your comment that the "glow" of living in a new place went away after a year or two. ... one just gets into their own routine no matter where they live and the newness wears off.
Wouldn't it be great if we could shed our old habits like a snake does it's skin. (I could use a new skin too!)

"Losing the GLOW" is one reason I hope to go live in a few new cultures during the 'pre-granny-stage' of early retirement. (currently under 55, so got a ways to go, hopefully). Another reason is healthcare.

I have found that the discipline of learning to appreciate (enjoy) a new culture & language really stretches me, and have been some of the 'riches' (hidden jewels) of my previous life as a worker bee. It was not fun at the time, but brought a depth of understanding that I would like to grow. I did enjoy that a company was paying for my previous ventures, so I'm up for suggestions of 'senior foreign service' part-time jobs I see there is a growing need for 're-construction' That may fit just fine.
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